[Funding alert] Bengaluru-based Avail Finance raises $9M in Series A led by Matrix Partners India
Bengaluru-based fintech platform, Avail Finance on Tuesday announced that it has raised its Series A round of financing of $9 million led by Matrix Partners India. The company will use these funds to expand its product suite and will also offer micro-savings and micro-insurance products tailored specifically for the blue-collar workers.
Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance is a fintech company, focused on the blue-collar segment. Avail has multiple products that are customised to this segment - personal loans, salary advances, savings etc. It also helps its customers in understanding the importance of being financially independent.
In March 2018, the company had raised pre-Series A funding of $17.2 million led by Matrix Partners. This round saw participation from Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Co-founders of cab aggregator Ola, Binny Bansal, Co-founder and group CEO of Flipkart, Kunal Shah, Founder of Freecharge, and Manish Patel, founder and CEO of Mswipe.
The last fund-raise was a mix of debt and equity, including credit lines from multiple NBFCs. Prior to that, Avail had raised $200,000 in a funding round led by Ola Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal.
Commenting on the fund raise, Ankush Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Avail Finance said,
“Our mission is to provide a financial umbrella to every Indian. While we started with a pure-play lending product, we realised that the blue-collar segment needs a more holistic financial platform. We believe that with our unique combination of customized products and focus on customer experience, we can work towards enabling true financial inclusion, while serving these customers profitably.”
The startup caters to blue-collar segment in India which includes security guards, delivery executives, drivers, housekeeping staff etc, who have a monthly income in the range Rs 8,000 - Rs 35,000.
One of its main products is an interest free, short term loan to assist them during their frequent cash flow problems. Borrowers have the flexibility to leave a tip, if they were satisfied with the service and experience.
Co-founders, Ankush and Tushar have a background in computer science engineering. While Ankush graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has worked with Ola, Tushar is an alumnus of IIT-Roorkee and has previously worked with Adobe.
“Low income consumers are underserved when it comes to financial services and pay the higher access cost for basic financial services. Avail offers a unique product combining micro-savings, loans and insurances that help blue collar workers tide over short term cash flow shocks every month. We believe in Ankush's vision and are excited to continue partnering on this journey with the Avail team." added Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix India.
The startup also counts Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, as one of its investors. Avail Finance has also partnered with blue-collar worker force of service aggregators including Ola, Swiggy, Ecom Express, Quess Corp, etc and provides financial products to such workers.